CIO East Africa (Nairobi)

19 February 2013

Kenya: Telkom Kenya-Orange in Network Transformation Project

Telkom Kenya-Orange has embarked on a wide transformation programme that will see the firm replace its copper cables with fibre infrastructure in order to enhance network reliability in the face of rising cable cuts and vandalism.

The programme, which began in 2012, is to be implemented at a cost of Kshs 4 billion and will initially target Nairobi's Upper Hill and Milimani areas. Eventually, the programme aims to upgrade the firm's network with modern network switches throughout the country.

Felix Aron, Telkom Kenya-Orange's product manager in charge of corporate marketing said that the transformation will start with Upper Hill as the infrastructure in the area has suffered from frequent copper cable cuts.

"In the Upper Hill area, this has been compounded by a road construction that commenced without proper prior notice and we acknowledge the fact that the on-going road constructions has greatly affected businesses both large and small in this area. It is for that reason that we decided to accelerate the transformation programme in this area," said Aron.

Of note is the fact that apart from Nairobi's Central Business District (CBD), Upper Hill and Milimani areas host several office blocks which are occupied by various government ministries, corporates, NGOs and multinational firms, as well diplomatic missions. A cable cut incident in this location leads to network downtime that affects a significant number of Telkom Kenya-Orange clients.

"The copper infrastructure has various key challenges including the fact that there are several pairs of copper cable, thus complex to restore during faults and also complex to create redundancy. A fibre network on the other hand is more ideal in that it needs shorter time to restore and has redundancy factored in the last mile," said Aron.

Already, some buildings in the target area have already had their copper infrastructure replaced with cable while others will be covered by March 2013 before the programme can be rolled out to the rest of the country.

"Infrastructure transformation of the Milimani and Upper Hill area is almost complete. Telkom Kenya-Orange is deploying the next generation switches expected to cover the entire country in phases," stated Aron, adding that the process is meant to support the entire market chain - SME, large corporates as well as public sector organizations - to cope with their ICT needs.

Overall, the transformation programme is also aimed at enabling Telkom Kenya build on the Orange Business Service best practices and benefits from its global expertise bringing a wealth of innovative services.

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